Untalan Middle School

Untalan Middle School robotics teacher Roz Pama conducts a class behind a transparent safety barrier on Monday at the Barrigada campus. Classrooms have been outfitted with temperature check monitors, hand sanitizers, mask supplies and safety barriers, among other equipment. 

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The Guam Department of Education released its first Covid-19 situation update since directly reporting Covid-19 cases as announced last week.

As of Oct. 11, GDOE confirmed 13 positive Covid-19 cases involving students.

The cases were identified at:

• Daniel L. Perez Elementary School, 2;

• Finegayan Elementary School, 1;

• Maria A. Ulloa Elementary School, 1;

• Upi Elementary School, 1;

• Wettengel Elementary School, 1;

• Astumbo Middle School, 2;

• F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School, 1;

• John F. Kennedy High School, 2; and

• Simon Sanchez High School, 2.

The students were attending face-to-face classes when testing confirmed they were positive.

In addition to the cases, four GDOE employees were also identified as positive for cases.

The cases were identified at B.P. Carbullido Elementary School, Luis P. Untalan Middle School, John F. Kennedy High School, and Simon Sanchez High School, a Guam Department of Education release stated.

This is the first report GDOE has provided since schools reopened on Sept. 27.

Superintendent Jon Fernandez said even parents of online students who don’t have any contact with schools physically are also reporting cases of positivity.

To date, GDOE and health officials have continued to assert that there is no evidence of Covid-19 spread occurring within school communities. They also noted that infections among students were a result of contact outside school grounds.

“We want to let parents and employees know that if a student is deemed positive, has been on campus and where there’s contact tracing that needs to occur, we want to make sure those numbers are updated," Fernandez said.

To make the information clearer for stakeholders, GDOE has revamped its School Readiness Dashboard which is supposed to be updated every Wednesday.

The new dashboard can be used as a tool by parents to gauge the possibility of school closures based on the Covid-19 situation at schools and within the community.

The dashboard will provide parents with a weekly breakdown of the level of risk of transmission relative to each school's population.

GDOE is on the lookout for schools that show a high percentage of cases and has pegged the red flag at 5% as an indicator that a school must be looked at closely.   

Fernandez said the information on the dashboard can be used by parents to gauge whether they should start planning for school closures and an immediate switch to distance learning.

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